Imfino News


Working Together for the SDGs: imfino and UNIDO Sign Joint Declaration on Closer Cooperation

With International Partnership towards Sustainability

SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals,
 Jan 2019

Vienna, January 10, 2019 - Making the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030 as stipulated by the United Nations in 2015 more tangible and transparent and bringing them closer to the Vienna population is a huge challenge and an important task. The Vienna-based non-profit Impact Finance Organization imfino and the United Nations Development Organization – UNIDO have now decided to address this challenge together. The first step towards the achievement of this goal was taken by the two organizations on January 9, when Phillippe Scholtès, Managing Director for Programme Development and Technical Cooperation (PTC) of UNIDO and Richard Vrzal, Managing Director of imfino, signed a Joint Declaration on cooperation.

“This partnership is a wonderful opportunity for us to work together on innovative finance solutions to close the significant SDG financing gap by creating synergies between public and private investment and UNIDO’s technical assistance services,” was the enthusiastic comment of Philippe Scholtès - Managing Director of Unido’s Programme Development and Technical Cooperation Department (PTC).

Strengthening the SDGs through Innovative Finance

The Impact Finance Organizaion imfino was founded with the intention of promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (short: SDGs), contributing, through impact finance, to finding solutions for the social and ecological challenges of our times and developing innovative financial tools for sustainable cities and communities.

Richard Vrzal, Managing Director of imfino, took the signing of the Joint Declaration as an opportunity to explain the aims of his organization in more detail: “We seek to provide innovative financial tools through various programs such as access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises and Sustainable Impact Investing Standard (SIIS) for SDG impact measurement to tackle the different financial challenges through impact finance by building such partnerships with international organizations and public and private partners to achieve the sustainable Development Goals.” 

The signed Joint Declaration establishes the framework for a closer collaboration between imfino and UNIDO with the aim of advancing the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Lima Declaration on inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID). This is an ambitious goal that can only be achieved if new, innovative financing options are mobilized that can then be used to strengthen the growing trend towards impact finance, support the Sustainable Development Goals that were defined on the basis of the Agenda 2030, and create synergies, especially between he SDGs 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).

Tigthening the Bond Between imfino and UNIDO

The collaboration between UNIDO and imfino has existed for a while – and has so far proved to work successfully on initiatives such as the annual “Bridge for Cities” Conference. Together, the two organizations were able to get the City of Vienna on board as a partner for closer cooperation towards advancing the SDGs. In addition, they organized media events and campaigns for the promotion of impact investment/finance, developed a tool for impact measurement as well as innovative financing models for the achievement of the SDGs.   

With the Joint Declaration, the already very fruitful collaboration between imfino and UNIDO will be expanded to include several important areas that are crucial to the implementation of the SDGs. “This is the start of a great opportunity for the International Organizations, especially those that are engaged in results-based projects to apply Impact Finance through technical cooperation with their respective Member States to increase the social and environmental impact by utilizing innovative financial solutions to achieve the major sustainable development priorities of each country,” Emebet B. Amenu-Zotter, Director for International Relations at imfino, underscored the advantages of the cooperation agreement for both organizations.

Important future joint ventures incorporate among others the active dialogue for city-to-city, city-to-business and business-to-business cooperation aligned to the 2030 Agenda; to strengthen the area of impact investment even more than has been done so far, for instance by formulating joint projects, cooperating in an effort to assess funding for sustainable urban-industrial development; working together on the development of projects aimed at promoting access to finance for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises - SMEs - and entrepreneurs in developing countries as a way of stimulating ISID and contributing to the SDGs; the development of impact investment to attain the SDGs on sectoral knowledge; and, lastly, the development and exchange of finance innovations as well as impact measurement tools.

 “We are excited to partner with imfino in developing new finance tools in areas such as impact measurement and blockchain - as only through innovation can we really transform the way we work towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda,” UNIDO’s Finance Director George Perera concluded.

Clearly, there is much to do – and the Joint Declaration shows that imfino and UNIDO have the energy and commitment to address these challenges!


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Petra Allekotte